Southern Rural Access Program: Stanita Jackson

Dates of Project: July 1997 to August 2009

Field of Work: Increasing access to health care in rural, underserved areas of eight Southern states.

Synopsis of the Work: The Southern Rural Access Program was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that worked to increase access to health care in rural, underserved areas of eight southern states. The states recruited and retained rural primary care providers, offered programs to attract students committed to working in rural areas to the health professions and help prepare them for training programs, developed collaborative networks of rural health providers, and developed loan funds to help rural health providers improve their practices. Mississippi was one of the participating states.

Story Told: Stanita Jackson, an undergraduate at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., attended Mississippi's six-week summer enrichment program in 2004. During the enrichment program, Jackson spent half of each day in the classroom, and the other half-day at the Natchez Regional Medical Center, shadowing staff in a different department each week. After completing the program, she went on to pursue a graduate degree in biological science. Read her story in this sidebar.